Manchester CityBlue Sunday
On the afternoon of Sunday 23rd October 2011, fierce northwest rivals Manchester United and Manchester City met at United's Old Trafford Stadium. Both teams had started the season in extremely determined fashion, and after just eight games, were vying for the top spot in the Premier League.
Sir Alex Ferguson's United had collected their record 19th league title the previous season and were bearing down on City. They were only two points adrift of the leaders at kick off, and a derby-day win would have seen them overtake their rivals.
Expectations were high on the blue half of Manchester. The club's limitlessly wealthy owners had assembled an expensive squad with some enviable talent, and this visit to the reigning champions would be a true measure of how much progress had been made. It turned out to be an astonishing encounter and one that will live long in the memories of the City faithful and Manchester's football public as a whole.
Under an intense spotlight, Roberto Mancini's men could not have made a more emphatic statement of intent, thrashing the champions 1-6 in ruthless fashion and putting them five points clear at the top of the English Premier League. City had inflicted United's worst home defeat since February 1955, and it was the first time United had conceded six goals at Old Trafford since 1930, when they lost 6-0 to Huddersfield Town. It also equalled the biggest ever margin of victory in a Manchester derby.
City had only led 1-0 at half-time with a goal by the young and enigmatic Italian, Mario Balotelli. The second half, however, was a completely one-sided affair. City's dominance and attacking power really told. Balotelli added his and City's second fifteen minutes after the break, and further goals by Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko (2) and one from the sublime Spanish playmaker, David Silva, ensured an incredible victory.
United had been unraveled and humiliated, and although they had been reduced to ten men early in the second half, the winning margin could have been even more emphatic. At the final whistle, Sir Alex trudged off towards the Stretford End with the realisation that the 'noisy neighbors’, as he once described them, had a group of players that could pose a very real and serious threat to his own teams’ dominance.
Only time will tell if this result has ushered in a seismic shift in the balance of power, or even a 'New Order' in Manchester, but whatever the future holds, the City faithful will always have 'Blue Sunday' (FACT 1-6).
'It's the worst result in my history. The impact will come from the embarrassment of the defeat. There will be a response.'
Sir Alex Ferguson